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Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight    by Kathleen Krull & Amy June Bates order for
Hillary Rodham Clinton
by Kathleen Krull
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Kathleen Krull is recognized for her many biographies geared to younger readers, included A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull; Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought); and The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss. Amy June Bates' illustrations are in perfect watercolor, with pencil outlines that clearly show a variety of facial expressions.

In Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight, the author brings out the theme of flight in Hillary Rodham Clinton's life - in her desire to some day become an astronaut and in her determination to change the world. The story begins: 'Once there was a girl who wanted to fly. She dreamed of zooming in a spaceship up through the clouds into outer space, learning new things about Earth. She wrote to the national space agency to volunteer. But it was 1961, and some paths were still closed to women, such as the job of astronaut.'

Krull emphasizes the parental support she received to 'chase after her dreams, to soar' no matter the task. Side-notes on each page offer inspiring quotes such as: 'Stand up for yourself, and keep your balance'; 'When borders surround you, try to break through'; and 'Even if you make a mistake, never be afraid to show your intelligence.' From First Lady of the State she lived in, to First Lady in Washington, to Senator of the State of New York (and in her subsequent run for President on the Democrat ticket), Rodham Clinton faced many mountains to conquer. My favorite quote in the script is one by Eleanor Roosevelt, that is certainly relevant: 'Every woman in public life needs to develop skin as tough as rhinoceros hide'.

Kathleen Krull's representation of a woman who stood up for what she believed no matter the odds is an excellent choice for educators. The author provides useful, extra pages of Flying Facts about Hillary Rodham Clinton's life. A list of additional sources encourage young readers to investigate further. The closing pages offer a meaningful message: 'she was propelling her way into history. Making a difference. Sooner or later, we will have a woman president, and it will be because of every girl who has wanted to fly ... "Take a risk, and dare to change the world ... Three-two-one - liftoff!"'

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